Hi Everyone! My name is Abby J. Reed, author of WHEN PLANETS FALL. Two of the most interesting things about me is that I used to be so flexible I could turn my feet entirely backwards. (As in, I’m facing north and my feet are literally pointing south, backwards.) And I have Chronic Migraine.
What do being crazy flexible and migraine have to do with my publishing journey? Everything.
As a kid, journaling and writing short stories was my way of processing the world. I wrote notes because I couldn’t say the right words in person. I wrote stories and gave them as presents to share feelings too deep for normal conversation. I knew writing would always be a part of my life, in some form.
Throughout this time, my aura migraines grew worse and worse and more and more frequent. In middle school, I developed hemiplegic migraine (where you sometimes get stroke-like symptoms). In high school, I developed migraine without aura. But I kept writing whenever I could. How else was I supposed to process school drama?
Soon, my freshman-self arrived at college and happily declared a Writing major. While my roommates were sprawled on the floor cramming anatomy and fourteen-letter words for exams, I got to write about spaceships. Best degree ever.
Two weeks into college, I officially transformed into Chronic Migraine. I did my best to manage classes and homework. Even still, by the time I walked across that stage, my disorder had mutated into having a 24/7 migraine, on top of aura migraines and other funky symptoms.
After college, I began working part-time for an author. She taught me how to edit and how to craft voice. And I got paid for it. Best job ever. To decompress from the pain each day, I tried crafting my own novel.
But the pressure of working under someone else’s deadline made my pain worse. After a year and a half, I switched from working part-time to watching Vampire Diaries part time. Saved on gas because the only mileage I put in was between the bed and couch. Even though I gutted my lifestyle in order to try to get my migraines under control, in between Vampire Diaries episodes, I kept chipping away at my novel.
After a while, I learned I could read better on gray paper than white. I learned some days I couldn’t read at all. Sunglasses helped with computer screens, and I could draft with the screen completely off. I learned I could hand-type my edits and have someone else input them. I learned Scrivener has a read-aloud setting, and brownie-bribery was the best tool in getting a family member to read aloud so I could edit.
I learned to be as flexible as my feet once were.
Eventually, that novel got shelved. Lemme tell you, it looks real fancy sitting there on my hard drive.
But my next novel sold! To a small press who was willing to work with my migraines. And the book releases in May. If you like YA sci-fi and characters with both physical and invisible disability who need to think outside the box to solve problems, you might like WHEN PLANETS FALL. I’m so in love with it that I printed out a massive poster of the cover.
Maybe I wouldn’t have a book debuting if migraines hadn’t taking away almost every other option. Maybe I would’ve since I already loved writing. Who knows?
What I do know is that if I wasn’t willing to be flexible with both with my migraines and with my writing, I wouldn’t be celebrating at all. So thank you, embarrassing middle school talent contest, for helping me discover my strange range of flexibility.
A big thank you to Abby J. Reed for stopping by NovelKnight today and sharing her quest to Authordom! You can read more about her upcoming release, WHEN PLANETS FALL, below!
Published on May 10, 2017 by Soul Mate Publishing
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Breaker's home is cleaved by blood. The three tribes on the planet Scarlatti, whose only difference is their blood color, each want to exploit Breaker's valley for themselves. The feudal tension has already claimed red-blood Breaker's leg and his older brother. Now all this 18-year old wants is to maintain the tenuous peace in order to keep his little 'stroid of a brother alive. Malani, a red-blood raised blue, is a kidnapped POW and only wants to return to her adoptive home with her dangerous blue secrets. Luka, a red-blood stewing for trouble, wants to right wrongs done to his family and bathe his home in justice.
All three intersect when Breaker discovers a wrecked starship and is given seven days by the green-bloods to fix and hand it over as a weapon. Breaker must decide if aiding his enemies is worth the home he knows and his family's life. War is coming. And war respects no boundaries. And war leaves no survivors.